HANG TIME, Texas — It didn’t happen under the Team USA umbrella in Barcelona and was even a far cry from any of the goings on in Sin City at the Summer League. But it was nice to see Brandon Roy take the first baby step toward getting back on an NBA court over the weekend.
While Roy and the Timberwolves have not yet made their marriage official yet with a signing of a two-year deal, there’s no doubt that the folks in Minneapolis were pleased to take of Roy’s effort on Saturday night in the Jamal Crawford Pro-Am Summer League in Seattle, his first appearance since playing for the Trail Blazers 15 months ago.
Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus was on hand to give a report:
After scoring the first bucket of the game on a pull-up jumper going to his left, Roy was quiet offensively the rest of the first quarter. This being a pro-am setting that features a gap in talent between NBA stars and local preps that played at the community college level, it was difficult to tell how much Roy was trying to push things. He opened the game using his occasional drives to set up teammates rather than score at the rim.
By halftime, Roy had contributed about nine points and six rebounds in a close game. After the break, Roy started to remind us all of how he once could–and maybe still can–cook. He started getting to the basket on a regular basis, showing off the hesitation moves and body control that made him one of the NBA’s top shooting guards. The Roy skills are still all there; the question is whether he still has the athleticism and explosion to harness them. In that regard, I would say Roy looked somewhat better than he did during the second half of the 2010-11 season, when he struggled for the Blazers.
When so many of the tales of the summertime have to do with off-court maneuvering, contract negotiations and trade talk, it’s good to have a story that is simply about a player returning to play the game he loves and obviously missed badly.
Welcome back, Brandon.